Weighted Blankets for PTSD and DID.

I’ve recently invested (I like to think of it as an investment) in two weighted blankets for myself. Having a trauma history and regularly suffering from severe dissociative episodes as well as more run-of-the-mill anxiety, I figured a weighted blanket would be worth a shot.

I’ve struggled to find research about the use of weighted blankets for those with a trauma history. Any information is very had to find and, aside from a few people who’ve used one or want one, very few people even know what a weighted blanket is.

So, let me go back a step. A weighted blanket is, quite literally, a heavy blanket. It’s a blanket that’s sewn with pockets and is commonly stuffed with poly pellets. From the information available online, it seems that the recommended weight for a blanket is ten percent of the users body weight plus five hundred grams.

Most of the information I’ve found online is about the use of weighted blankets for children with autism or ADD/ADHD. These blankets, apparently, help to settle or soothe them and/or focus. It all seems to be based around Deep Pressure Touch…. which, when googled, produces very little information. I’m lacking access to databases at the moment because I’m not currently studying. This kind of suggests that I’ve spent a large amount of money on blankets they may be of absolutely no use to me.

However, I do think the weight of the blankets will be calming, settling, soothing and grounding. I’ve just yet to test them. I have to wait until I’m dissociated to see if they work and how well they work.

I have one large (single bed) sized blanket that weighs eight kilos and will most definitely be kept at home. The plan for this blanket is for B (an alter) to use it when she’s scared and for the rest of us to use it if needed. I’ve worked with B around having a really heavy blanket that she can hide under. It’s so heavy that no one can lift it off her, but she can get out from under it if she wants to (this only works because she’s seven years old). This should help her to feel safe as well as managing the flashbacks and anxiety.

Bella’s blanket (8kg single).

Along with the above blanket I also ordered a smaller four kilo blanket (below). Providing the weight of the blankets is grounding, my plan is to ask to leave the smaller blanket with my psychologist so we can use it there. Being four kilos, it’s not something I want to have to cary to every single session, along with a journal, pencil case, teddy bear, wallet, water bottle etc. I’m also going back to respite next week and will be taking the smaller blanket with me.

Therapy blanket (4kg, 96cm square).

I also received a free one kilo extra small blanket. It’s quite cute and would be nice to play with, but the weight isn’t enough to be of much use (I don’t think). I’m not sure what I’ll do with this one yet.

1kg, 50cm square blanket.

As you can see, on the single blanket and the 96cm square blanket there are strips of fabric sewn on. The site I purchased the blankets from called them “fiddle tags”. They are a variety of textured pieces of fabric that are sewn on and can be played or “fiddled” with. As well as something for us to play with, I think they could be useful for grounding – feeling each piece, describing the texture and the colour. I’m thinking of hunting down some scraps of fabric so that I can add some more.

The “Fiddle Tags” on the single blanket.

Although weighted blankets cost a lot of money, I figured that it was money worth spending. If having one of these blankets across my shoulders or in my lap can help get me grounded, help me become more present – it’s worth it. If I fail to become more present using my usual grounding techniques, often, an ambulance will be called. I’ll be transported to the emergency department of the nearest hospital, be examined against my will (because often I’m unable to move or talk), and allowed to lie in a hospital bed until I’m less dissociated and more functional. Uncool to say the least. If these blankets provide another way to prevent a trip to the emergency department – money doesn’t matter so much!

21 thoughts on “Weighted Blankets for PTSD and DID.

  1. I am in the US and have never heard of this before, but the moment I started reading your post, my whole self immediately resonated with a calm,safe feeling. I am going to research outlets for purchase here in the US. Thank you sooooooooooooo much for this info!

  2. Oh, I need one of them! I am currently reading a fiction book based on a boy with aspergers and he uses weighted blankets. I, rather subconsciously, ended up putting a weight on my head (as you do) the other night and wow, it helped… I’m going to click on that link above right now. Thanks for posting about this I think it will give many people something to think about xx

  3. An occupational therapist used to bring one to my room when I had to go to the hospital, and for me, having the pressure calmed me immensely. At the time, I had flashback that caused seizures (or, maybe the seizures were flashbacks) and when the weighted blanket was used, my nervous system calmed down. It worked so well for me, I ended up making one in O.T. while on the unit, at one point. The therapist said that resistance is a good way to calm over-stimulated nerves.

    For me, it was a life-saver.

  4. I love this! This post was the reason I decided to make a weighted blanket. And it has been soooo helpful! I sleep under it every single night. I, too, am DID. Recently, I found that it has helped Capt. to feel safer when she is wrapped up in it like a cocoon. It imitates being held tight, which is what she wants, and makes her feel safe so she doesn’t have to engage in destructive behavior towards our body. It’s wonderful! I love my weighted blanket! Even though mine is pretty heavy, I plan on taking it to my counseling sessions now that my support person isn’t able to come for a while. I’m hoping it will help us feel safe in his office and hoping it will help us feel like someone is holding us when we need it.

  5. Thank you! I’m not sure I’ll be able to afford one of these, but I have always known how beneficial it was to feel that weight; the squeeze. Long story, maybe I’ll write about it, but I can’t thank you enough for bringing it up. I might make something like this, because touch isn’t my strong suit just yet. 😉

    Wishing you peace, friend. If you don’t know of Temple Grandin, google her and her squeeze box.

  6. Pingback: I’m Meant To Be Packing | Life as a Committee

  7. I have been looking for a site that does this because I feel it would be great help for us! Thank you for the post and the link you posted above in response to someone’s comment!

  8. I just ordered one for myself because I suffered a lot of emotional trauma throughout childhood and teen years. I have a research article I downloaded because I am studying at UNI, let me know if there is a way I can send it to you. I wish there was a way us common folk could have database access… knowledge is important.

    • I’m not sure there’s a way for you to share the entire article. You’ll be able to share the abstract which some may find useful. You could also check out google scholar to see if the whole article is there and free to access.

  9. Pingback: Weighted Blankets for DID and PTSD: Three Years On | Life as a Committee

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